Title: Characterisation and properties of HDPE/NR blend-layered silicate nanocomposites prepared by melt intercalation

Authors: Engku Zaharah E. Zawawi; Sahrim Ahmad; Rozaidi Rasid; A.R. Shamsul Bahri

Addresses: Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia ' School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' Crop Improvement and Protection Unit, Rubber Research Institute Experimental Station, Malaysia Rubber Board, 47000 Sungai Buluh, Selangor Malaysia

Abstract: Nanocomposites comprising high density polyethylene (HDPE) and natural rubber (NR) blend as the matrix polymer and Closite 20A as the organoclay filler were prepared using the melt intercalation technique in an internal mixer. In order to study the morphological structure of the nanocomposites obtained, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) analyses were carried out. The physical properties of nanocomposites were examined with dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and tensile tester. Test specimens were fabricated using compression moulding after the blending process. The results show that all properties analysed were strongly influenced by the composition of organoclay. The X-ray diffraction results indicated intercalation of blend into the silicate interlayer of organoclay and partially exfoliated of silicate layer in the blend. Based on the observation from transmission electron microscope, organoclay was found well dispersed within the matrix. The tensile strength of HDPE/NR blend was enhanced by the addition of low loading of this organically modified montmorillonite. The results of tensile modulus improved with increasing the content of organoclay. The DMA curves show that the incorporation of organoclay increased the storage modulus of the nanocomposites below the Tg temperature and slightly reduces the tan δ peak height.

Keywords: thermoplastic natural rubber; TPNR; organoclay; high density polyethylene; HDPE; silicate nanocomposites; melt intercalation; nanotechnology; dynamic mechanical analysis; DMA tensile testing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMATEI.2013.057159

International Journal of Materials Engineering Innovation, 2013 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.343 - 354

Available online: 14 Oct 2013 *

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